Cal State San Marcos is exactly one mile from my house, making it very simple to measure my weekend runs. Yesterday, as I made Russell join me on a four mile walk, we noticed the campus was covered in Kony 2012 posters. Being the monster I am, the first thing out of my mouth was, “we’re still supposed to care about that, huh?” Now. Look. The situation in Uganda fills me with regret for our species, and my heart goes out to anyone that has suffered from the appalling actions of Joseph Kony. Having said that, until psychic powers work as more than a plot device for fiction, we can’t (literally) hate him to death.
Protest is the lip service of palpable solutions, and the palpable solution this mass murdering shithead deserves is unlikely to come to fruition. Why? Because, historically, we tend to assassinate figureheads that advocate peace, love and understanding: Gandhi, Lincoln, Kennedy, Jesus, etc.. But genocidal madmen? As long as they keep it within their property lines, governments are oddly fine with them. Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Mao Zedong, etc. all played on their own porches, and each got to die of natural causes well into their 70s and 80s. What fools these mortals be.
If this reads as indifference, it’s not. I did my bleeding-heart liberal years in college. I was once young, inspired and driven by whale-saving goodness. I planted trees, promoted green living (before it was trendy), counseled rape victims and voted for Clinton twice. It’s easy to be idealistic when you’re young, given that ideals are simply the hard work you’ve yet to do. Twenty years of real life later? I don’t feel I was wrong for trying—and not just because my heart was in the right place. I didn’t grow up so much as wise up. The more you learn about this big world of ours, the more you realize how little of it can be helped. In the name of progress, we’ve designed it to be unchangeable.
Let me shoot you in the face with an old (paraphrased) adage: A man was walking on the beach one day when he came upon thousands of starfish that had washed up on the shore. In the distance, he could see a little girl throwing them back into the sea. “Sweet little girl,” he said, “there are simply too many starfish for you to save. You can’t even begin to make a difference.” The little girl stared at him and threw another starfish into the water. “Well, I made a difference to that one.” There are two things we can take away from this. One, what is a child doing unsupervised on a beach with a creeper that calls her “sweet little girl?” Two, despite anything written in the above paragraphs, caring is never futile and no difference is too small to make.
However, if you think papering city streets will undo a cause-of-the-week like Joseph Kony, guess again. While I applaud the viral education that has been spread about this injustice, until we’re prepared to fight it with sanctions and/or combat, the most those posters will do is waste the trees I planted back in college. And, hey, if I’m wrong, I get to have the satisfaction of being pleasantly surprised.
- 1 bag baby spring mix salad
- 2 cups cubed chicken
- 1 D’anjou pear, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup candied walnuts
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta
The Dressing of Compassion
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp poppy seed
- 2 tbsp salad oil
Place salad ingredients in a large bowl. If you cook with your heart, you will make it look pretty before making tossing it with the dressing and making a mess of it. For the dressing combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in salad oil until emulsified. Toss with salad and serve.
Not that it’s up to me, but I don’t want to read any hate mail pertaining to this issue. Because, believe me, I get it. I get everyone’s passion, and am in no way suggesting that such fervor is misplaced. I’ve merely outlined why I’m not as enthusiastic about it as the masses would have me be. If that reasoning isn’t good enough for you, please write everything you wish to say in a spellchecked e-mail, then hit Control-Alt-Delete (or Command-Option-Escape for Mac users). I’ll be over here, fighting for my fois gras like a total hypocrite.
TWTG says, “So… do you just whack them in the head and knife them?”